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Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
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Posted: 09/26/19, 18:01:37
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Man, I kind of find my flow sometimes and then get into a new area and it's a beatdown. I don't want the easy mode but I wouldn't mind this hard mode being a *tad* easier.

Actually it's not even so much that things are too hard, because I kind of found my flow a bit once I realized that the refresh HP/MP and save points are frequent enough that you can actually use MP in battles regularly and not really run out that often. ALSO, the girls with their wands get MP back with normal attacks? Was this always a thing in Draqon Quest?! So yeah I sped up the battles, set both the girls to auto and just let them use spells left and right, and then do manual for myself and the other guy. Works ok, for the most part, can get through most fights without really much risk of death, though the little girl keeps dying because she has low HP and not much defense. But it works ok.

But the fights can still be a grind sometimes. It takes so long to kill enemies! I wouldn't mind the same level of challenge but with faster fights?!

Oh, and FUCK those enemies that call for help constantly. Those muddy hands, for instance. It starts with backup A. Then B. And so on. They got all the way up to freaking T once before I finally killed them all off. THAT'S LIKE 20 ENEMIES IN ONE FIGHT.

Anyway, I know it sounds like I'm doing a lot of complaining but it's a pretty fun game, I just wish there were something more in between the easy and hard modes and then it would hit my sweet spot. Though once I get into a new area and mess around a bit and get new gear and level-up and such I'm usually alright.
Posted: 03/10/20, 07:08:36  - Edited by 
 on: 03/10/20, 07:09:58

Turn on auto battle and increase battle and text speed to max. Battles go so quick.
Posted: 03/10/20, 15:29:22
I have MOST of the characters set to auto, I just like to keep the main guy and the guy with the boomerang set to manual because the AI doesn't seem to use them well so I still have characters dying off in some fights.

I know you can stop and switch to manual mid-fight though, maybe I should let it go auto until things are getting out of control and then manual it quick.
Posted: 03/10/20, 19:39:47
Controversial opinion, maybe: the boomerang isn't worth it.
Posted: 03/10/20, 21:12:58
I wonder if anyone has done the hardcore math on this stuff. Boomerang feels worth it for big groups of enemies (though really it only helps on the first few it hits since it sort of exponentially takes off less each enemy it hits in one throw), but the more you wear down the group and start removing enemies, the less worthwhile it is. And of course for a single tough enemy like a boss it doesn't do much. You can switch weapons mid fight, so maybe for a boss with a few helpers it would be good to start with boomerang and then switch once the helpers are gone, but I tend to not have two great weapons ready for that guy so I rarely ever actually do anything like that. And in non-boss fights it feels like a hassle to start messing around with switching weapons mid-fight and such.
Posted: 03/10/20, 22:07:46  - Edited by 
 on: 03/10/20, 22:08:22
Yeah, maybe it's just a feeling and not hard math, but I think that basically any other weapon will help take out any specific enemy faster, and the faster you cull the herd, the quicker the fight is over and the fewer hits they get to take at your party.

Plus, on Auto with the "Fight Wisely" directions, your party will cast spells and use techniques that hit multiple enemies anyway, so I'm not seeing the benefit of using a boomerang.

One way perhaps to see which is more effective without crumching numbers could be to time how long battles last against a same group of enemies with the boomerang vs some other weapon, with everyone on autopilot.
Posted: 03/10/20, 22:18:37
But then I'm spending time timing things, lol! With the boomerang guy he doesn't HAVE anything else that can hit everyone yet. Maybe he will get some better spells down the road but he only has two spells at the moment and neither is a multi-attack spell.
Posted: 03/10/20, 22:56:13
I'm a fan of boomerangs for reasons Zero stated. They are a bit weaker than they were in DQVIII (where they were somewhat overpowered), but I like being able to cut through enemy mobs efficiently, and boomerangs deal much more total damage per attack than knives (which require a lot of setup but huge single-target damage, so knives are still great for bosses). Especially Twomerang! I have a video saved on my Switch of hitting a Golem with something like 18+ hits because of Divide, Twomerang, a two-handed attack plus the Golem was protecting another enemy. It was crazy.

Attacks with staves (etc) have restored MP since DQIX. I like that change; it makes mages have an option once they run out of MP, and it makes attacking with staves have SOME level of use since otherwise they're extremely weak.

I haven't posted here much lately because I'm severely reducing my internet time for Lent. Otherwise I'd be in this thread every day!

Zero, how's the adventure going?
Posted: 03/16/20, 17:14:48
I was actually going to update since I've been off school and playing a TON of video games, lol. I'm like... 20 or 30 hours in now? (I don't have the most accurate clock count because I was leveling up while programming one day so I got probably an hour? maybe? of leveling up in during an 8 hour programming session, heh.)

I love it! I mean I loved it when it was more frustrating too but I feel like I have a better groove now, especially now that I have so many characters and two! that can actually revive. Though 50/50 odds on Zing is still one of the most frustrating things in Dragon Quest, I came up short on like 6 Zings in a row during a boss fight and was yelling at the screen like REALLY? THIS HAS A 1 IN 64 CHANCE OF HAPPENING AND IT HAPPENS NOW?! and my wife was looking at me like WTF is going on (I'm usually not a very vocal gamer, lol.)

But yeah, it's just such a polished game. Everything feels really sweet. I don't even know for sure what exactly are the new additions from previous games but it feels to me like it added some cool new stuff. One thing I especially love is Tickington. I'm playing the game in 3D mode so it feels very different to pop into 2D for a bit and do these little optional sections. A very cool idea that I assume is new to the series?

One thing I love about Dragon Quest is it takes what would appear from the outside to be a sort of generic concept and design (standard turn-based RPG, chosen one has to go collect random doodads to save the world), but they do it so well that it really stands out. In many ways Dragon Quest is the archetype for these type of RPGs, and it could have very easily just done what other series in this position do, either rehash the past too much without evolving, or evolve too much and become something unfamiliar, but it manages to find that sweet spot and feel both old and new at the same time.

There are a few small things I would like (more control over using AI for partners, for instance, like I wish there was a "use MP about half the time" type AI, heh) but overall it pretty much seems to anticipate what I would want and already provide it.

I'll have to see how I feel once I finish the game but at the moment I feel like this is probably the best Dragon Quest game that I've played, and maybe even top 10 all-time RPGs.
Posted: 03/16/20, 19:27:09

Nice! Glad you're enjoying it so much. I didn't play the original on PS4, but from what I've read, they really added a lot to the Switch version. The biggest two things are probably the full 2D mode (along with the inclusion of the Tickington quests from the 3DS version), plus the orchestrated music. But there are lots of nifty little quality-of-life tweaks, such as a super-fast battle speed, seeing your party members in the field, more monster mounts, not having to pick up the loot that you mine from rocks, being able to purchase purchase-able materials straight from the Forge submenu (if you don't have the materials for equipment), the Horse Hailer item, downloadable DQVIII field menu music (I recommend this if the existing field music is too lively for your tastes), and the photo mode. Also, content-wise, there're a few extra hours worth of content a little later on, and a new sidequest in the postgame that gives one character some needed closure.

Zing is a harsh mistress. If you have Rab on Great Wands, he can learn Zing Stick as an ability on the Character Builder--it costs the same as Zing, but works 100% of the time. Otherwise, a higher magical mending can get it to land more often (and there are later abilities that guarantee revival as well).

Have you done Lonalulu yet?
Posted: 03/16/20, 21:23:57  - Edited by 
 on: 03/16/20, 21:24:50
It's my internet day, so I'm bumping the DQXI thread!

Sarah's been enjoying this; it's nice finding the occasional game that she can have fun with, and double nice that devs are still occasionally making fully turn-based RPGs.
Posted: 03/26/20, 20:56:42
Well, I finished the game! Final play time... a bit over 100 hours.

Man, I had played the end boss, got the first form down to orange, died, thought hey I will level up a few levels, then ended up leveling up like 10 levels because I was on a roll. Went back thinking I was going to roll over the boss and... it was still very touch and go at times! If I had only leveled up like 3 or 4 levels like I had originally planned to, I probably would have had got destroyed on that second form and would have had to just level up some more anyway.

Anyhow, I know there is a lot of post-game content but I think I've played enough. Good spot to end.

Final thoughts.

Overall, I liked it a lot. But I think my "maybe even top 10 all-time RPGs" feeling was a bit premature. It's good, don't get me wrong. But I think some things about the game could have been done a bit better.

I think my main issue is that at some times I felt like I was just going through the motions. And when trying to analyze why, I think it is a few things. First, the battle system lets you basically automate everything, which is awesome, but also means you're just kind of sitting there watching the game play itself a lot. Of course for bosses I would take control, but once I got past the early tough parts (playing on stronger enemies) the non-boss battles were mostly a non-factor. So it was tough to want to keep control when I could just automate it, but then the automation pulled me out of the game a bit. I think that, combined with the fact that the areas were usually pretty straightforward without much true exploration (my last RPG before this was Xenoblade 2, so that's quite a shift) made it so some parts didn't really stand out. Actually, if there was one thing I could change about Dragon Quest, I'd make the areas more exploration-worthy. Everything doesn't have to be Xenoblade level, but at least make it so there is some mystery!

The funny thing is, Tickington is kind of the opposite of straight-forward in that it had a lot of unique twists... I kind of wish its design influenced more of the rest of the game. It had some cool little areas with stuff like moving floors, puzzles, etc. and they were short enough that they rarely outstayed their welcome. I always felt some joy when I opened up a new area there.

I guess ultimately I feel like overall the game was just like 10-20 hours too long for my tastes, although this was probably in large part due to me playing "stronger enemies", because I was doing a LOT of leveling up at times to be able to stand with the bosses. And also me feeling like I don't have a lot of time to play games nowadays. When I was younger, fluff bothered me less, but now I get a bit impatient. I like things more streamlined.

So yeah, there were times when I was feeling a bit out of it, but it usually got me back in. Especially once the BIG EVENT mid-game hit. Sure, other games have done this kind of thing before (very much reminded me of Final Fantasy VI), but it worked to get me reinvested and I found my momentum collecting up my team again. It probably helped that I took some breaks from the game at times as well, so I would hop back in fresh.

What I said above still stands as well. It's a very polished game. Some very beautiful parts. Cool story bits. Good boss fights. Maybe not top 10 RPGs of all-time for me, but possibly top 20?! Probably still the best Dragon Quest, though VIII was my first so I have good memories of that as well.
Posted: 07/27/20, 12:30:16  - Edited by 
 on: 07/27/20, 12:32:48
Well, I am SO glad to have found this forum. I really mean it; I've been meaning to ask this one question to someone or some people who are kind, discerning, and open to new stuff... and who are also new to the game (or series, welcome to the questers to those of you who are! =) ) Also, the fact that I'm not necroposting on this topic really helps. =D Okay, the thing is, I get there's many people who have finished the game... okay, first and foremost, at what point you consider having finished the game? When would you consider the post-game starts? Of course, I'm not talking about 100%-ing it, and I definitely don't want my question to have any spoilers... not even when I know I can hide them. To those who have gotten to the end you would know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, to me, this thing broke paradigms... To explain this better, I need to reenact my opinions for each of this game's major sections: This is what I thought after the first half of the game: "Ehh, decent game so far, it looks beautiful, but it doesn't do much for me beyond delivering. I'd still definitely call it a Dragon Quest game, though". Second half, me after getting to the end credits: "Wow, what a great game! Definitely surpassed the rest of the games with no customizable party members! Namely DQ2, 4 (maybe ;P), 5, 6 and 8 for me, but I still wouldn't exactly call it my favorite. Just... nice to see Dragon Quest is still doing these kind of games and just them existing even to this day."

and then...

enter what I will refer to as the post-game (I don't mean Tickington, for context, my first playthrough was on PC) I wasn't even done with it when I thought: "...no questions asked, even if this still isn't my favorite DQ, I would be biased not to call it THE BEST DQ GAME EVER so far! What it just did is on the level of what DQ3 managed... in its time... IN ITS TIME! This came 29 years later! And it surpassed many 80s and 90s games for me... if not all of them." Obviously I have to remind you guys, these are my thoughts (opinions).

I'll be more specific: To me, this game introduced a new RPG trope. That's what it did, and I thought it was a major achievement. How is that even possible in this time an age!? Hadn't all of them been invented by now!? =O *ahem* Yeah, I don't know how the heck it managed to do it while not being on the NES/SNES or even PSX era and while still having the graphics of a relevant modern-age game. Chrono Trigger would come the closest to what I'm referring to but... having played it on the DS first, I just thought it was an astounding game, well worth of its merits, definitely THE replay-value RPG par excellence, but... I didn't think it was the best thing ever. And I thought this was. Yes, even with nostalgia-mode fully activated - though, truth be told, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy IV & VI, Ocarina of Time & A Link to the Past, Castlevania: Dawn of Souls and Super Metroid & Fusion still have special places in my heart, some of them still higher than this one, that's how favoritism works, but still; honor where it is due.

Well, those are my thoughts, I really wanna ask, how about yours? Did you like the direction the story took after beating the game? Would you rather have it scrapped? Was it difficult for you to make the choice? What would you consider the canon ending? Both? And, to the topic creator, since you've played FF6, did you like this kind of post-game turnabout? Would you have liked FF6 to have a similar thing and then be creative with what would the next major villain/menace be? How about the other games that have the villain take over the world from the middle onwards such as Ocarina of Time? Would you like to play the "what-if" he never did?. One last thing I must add is that, with all that praise been said, I think it could have been done better... like what if some new things like monsters (other than new recolors) and dungeons were introduced? But hey, I for one hope this isn't the last time this is done (maybe it has been done before and I don't know about it? =O) Certainly, the trope where the villain taking over and ruining/modifying the world to their desires has already been. So I don't see why this cannot. What a creative way to have a "third world". =D

Also, hey guys, I'm new. =)
Posted: 08/04/20, 12:19:54

Welcome! Unfortunately, I played the heck out of the demo when it came out, but was in the middle of other games when it fully came out, so never dove back in to the full game. Part of me knew Iíd be spending a long time there when finally went back in. And honestly, a buddy of mine is now sailing close to 300 hours in on DQ XI, and that kind of terrifies me to know that there is that much game there. But your post has me soooooo intrigued! Maybe Iíll dive back in sooner rather than later.

Sorry I couldnít really answer your questions, but again, welcome!
Posted: 08/04/20, 13:57:46

I'm looking forward to playing this one with my wife but gotta wait for it to be in at the library! I think @TriforceBun probably finished it, so maybe can speak more to the end game stuff, ha ha.
Posted: 08/04/20, 17:01:52
@frostare I hope you get the answers you look for but like I said above, I stopped at the well... "end" aka when the credits started rolling. Now you're making me curious about what comes next. But I already moved onto other games!
Posted: 08/04/20, 22:10:33

Welcome! I'm always up for chatting about DQXI, one of my favorite games of the entire decade. Nice list of games you got there!

That said, I have pretty mixed feelings on the postgame... (SPOILERS for the entire game + postgame!)

First up, the good: Act 3 wraps up a few lingering plot threads that don't get addressed in the main game, such as the Black Tockle, the full story of Erdwin/Serenica, and the clever DQ3-esque final reveals after the boss. And obviously from a gameplay perspective, it gives you plenty more to do, albeit in a way that largely reuses assets and environments from Acts 1 and 2.

But while it's nice to have a happier ending, I felt odd about reverting this cast that I'd come to love back to earlier incarnations in pursuit of that happier ending. I just feel that--as someone who generally prefers characterization to plot--the cost of rolling the characters back developmentally (particularly in cases like Hendrik and Serena) isn't worth the payoff of learning more about Calasmos and Erdwin.

To put it another way, when I think of my favorite moments of DQXI, they don't involve epic battles against cackling baddies so much as the heartfelt sequences like the Luminary's chat with Chalky, Rab at Dundrasil, Michelle's story, Rab's training fantasy, confronting Irwin, and Veronica's sacrifice. And yeah, it's not like these sequences are removed from the game or anything, but they definitely give diminishing returns when revisited in Act 3 (Mia's story is another good example of this). It's like saving someone's life a second time in Majora's Mask and mashing through the dialogue because you've already seen it.

Meeting Irwin under Dundrasil was a real tear-jerker initially, but going back and saving him from the despair monster again makes what's initially a raw, heartfelt sequence turn into a weird gameplay rerun you're just trying to "get out of the way" for completion's sake, which really pulls me out of the world.

Conceptually, the idea of "going back" and exploring a different timeline only for a bigger bad to pop up is a neat idea, but I could never really shake that feeling that many of my favorite memories of the game were "false," in a way (although the characters do get little glimpses of deja vu). I wonder if I'd like it more if the whole team could "go back," rather than just the Luminary?

It's a neat idea to explore and I'm glad the game provided even more gameplay (and that DQ medley credits sequence at the end really brings together the series nicely), but I consider Act 3 more of, like, a DLC chapter or the controversial third season of a fantastic TV show. 90% or so of the story is wrapped up in Act 2 and I think the struggles and loss the heroes had gone through up until that point give the story weight and texture.
Posted: 08/05/20, 17:52:11
This game is still on my to do list! I'm wrapping up Xenoblade DE (at level 75/76 at the moment) and I suppose I still have the epilogue, but maybe that'll go on the backburner.

Planning on playing Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order as a fun action palette cleanser and then hope I'm still in the mood for a long RPG again!
Posted: 08/05/20, 18:02:24
Wow, it's been almost a year since I posted about this game. And now, after 110 hours, I have finally beaten it, for real this time. I have so many thoughts. Lots of good, lots of bad, lots of mixed thoughts. I could write a book about this game, which is weird, because I actually don't like it as much as my favorite entries in the series (which from what I played, are 3 and 4). There's just so much more to talk about.

There are so many elements of this game where I'm like "I THINK I like what they're doing here...but do I really? What would I have liked to see done differently?" Part of me wonders if I would've felt this way if the game was just shorter in general. I really like this game but my god, I do think it is way too overly long. There has to have been a way to make it shorter. I understand the PS4 version is technically shorter. I'm mixed on whether the additional Definitive Edition content added or tooktook away from the narrative as some might suggest.

It's been a while since I finished a game and felt so conflicted about my thoughts towards it. Overall I really enjoyed and and will never forget it, but there are some parts of the game that really have me ripping my hair out, and other parts that leave me feeling kind of torn.

If you're ever looking for a long, long RPG, you could do a lot worse than DQXI. Can't wait to see what they do with the series in the future, though I'm concerned about them doing something TOO different with DQXII. We shall see!
Posted: 06/07/21, 17:24:57

I personally consider the postgame to be fully optional content, and I'd argue the game feels the same way since it gives you a full set of credits and even does little things like award the Draconian medals for making it to that point. Act 3 is where my conflicting feelings with DQXI arise, and since there's a fully-huge, complete game prior to that point, I tend to think of it as more of a bonus. Overall, it's still one of my favorite RPGs.

I'm also slightly apprehensive about DQXII!
Posted: 06/07/21, 20:35:03
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